Quantification of the association of ventilation rates with sick building syndrome symptoms

TitleQuantification of the association of ventilation rates with sick building syndrome symptoms
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWilliam J Fisk, Anna G Mirer, Mark J Mendell
Conference NameProceedings of the Indoor Air 2008
Conference LocationCopenhagen, Denmark, Paper 730
Keywordsassociation, Commercial Building Ventilation and Indoor Environmental Quality Group, health, health and productivity effects, indoor environment department, quantification, sick building syndrome, symptoms, ventilation rate

Data from published studies were combined and analyzed to develop best-fit equations and curves quantifying the change in sick building syndrome (SBS) symptom prevalence with ventilation rate. For each study, slopes were calculated, representing the fractional change in SBS symptom prevalence per unit change in ventilation rate per person. Values of ventilation rate, associated with each value of slope, were also calculated. Linear regression equations were fit to the resulting data points, after weighting by study size. Integration of the slopeventilation rate equations yielded curves of relative SBS symptom prevalence versus ventilation rate. Based on these analyses, relative SBS symptom prevalence increases approximately 23% (12% to 32%) as the ventilation rate drops from 10 to 5 L/s-person and relative prevalence decreases approximately 29% (15% to 42%) as ventilation rate increases from 10 to 25 L/s-person.